Cost of fitness up across Mid Ulster, but Magherafelt people pay most

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People in Magherafelt are paying more for activities at their local leisure centre than anywhere else in Mid Ulster.

Although privately run, Greenvale Leisure Centre, provides the service on behalf of Mid Ulster District Council.

It costs less for a child to go swimming in Cookstown than any other part of Mid Ulster. Calum Bain from Cookstown competing in the 2015 Irish Open Swimming Championships

It costs less for a child to go swimming in Cookstown than any other part of Mid Ulster. Calum Bain from Cookstown competing in the 2015 Irish Open Swimming Championships

Greenvale charges more for swimming and access to their gym than both Dungannon and Cookstown leisure centres.

The price for an adult swim in Greenvale’s 50m pool is £3.75, while children can swim for £2.75 or £4 if they want to use the water slide - a feature also available at Cookstown Leisure Centre.

For the health suite, which includes access to the pool, sauna and steam room, Greenvale charges £7.50 per session, £2.50 more than both Dungannon and Cookstown.

A membership is also needed to use the gym rather than the pay as you go charges which are offered at the two other Mid Ulster venues.

When asked about the price changes, a Mid Ulster council spokesperson told the Mail: “The council agreed a new approach to leisure pricing in January, and new prices were introduced across our leisure facilities from April 1.”

Last September, the shadow council said at a meeting of its Development Committee that leisure centre prices across Mid Ulster would be brought into line with one another.

But unlike Cookstown and Dungannon, Greenvale Leisure Centre did not change any of its entry prices.

While Dungannon residents got the raw end of the deal as all of the town’s leisure centre prices went up, where only a few of Cookstown’s fees were raised with the rest staying the same or being lowered.

But, the changes mean the two leisure centre’s prices don’t differ as much as they had before the merger.

In Dungannon the cost of adult and child swims increased by 10p, costing £3.10 for an adult - the same price at peak times in Cookstown - and £2.10 for children.

But a child’s swim in Cookstown is now £1.55 - down from the previous price of £2.

In Dungannon it’s now £5 to use the gym, up from £4.50, and the same price as Cookstown which has recently had thousands spent on it.

And entry to the health suite at both venues is £5 - an increase for Dungannon users from the previous £4.

But the council said it does continue to offer “off-peak usage at a discount on normal prices as well as discounts for priority groups, including senior citizens, young people and people with disabilities” at both leisure centres.

Dungannon Leisure Centre offers a £2.10 discounted swim for adults before 9.30am and at lunch time.

During off-peak times at Cookstown, there is also a reduced price for an adult swim at £2.50 and both leisure centres now charge students and senior citizens £1.55 - down 20p for Cookstown people.